Strange Fruit

In his creative imagination Heaney stands alongside anthropologists engaged with the bodiless head of a young woman similar to one retrieved (exhumed) from the Roum Fen in north Denmark in 1942. He showcases the head with a sweep of the hand (Here is) and lists the physical properties that label it a strange fruit: large and hard skinned (gourd); oval in shape; epidermis wrinkled as a dried plum (prune-skinned), teeth retaining the stained appearance of the same fruit (prune- stones). He watches as the hair is carefully disentangled (unswaddled … wet fern) and reset as for display (exhibition of its coil) and her features (leathery beauty) exposed to life-restoring air in preparation for display case or museum. The waxy surface […]